Blog Archives

Using Data to Inform Instruction

In the Greece Central School District, most secondary classrooms are required to give a midterm or benchmark as a common formative assessments (CFA).  A CFA is an instrument that is used to inform both the teacher and the student of the student’s progress (DuFour et al., 2010).  Using CFA data, teachers are able to determine which students need additional time and instruction and to identify the teaching strategies that proved to be effective.

Mr. Mock and Ms. Ruggeri used the Integrated Algebra midterm that they gave their students to inform their instruction and diagnose what topics they needed to review.  Selecting specific “most missed” questions, the co-teaching team used this opportunity to reteach certain topics.  Then, students were reassessed using the SMART response clicker software.  The SMART software provided a visual data model for students to see.  The use of this technology also kept the entire class engaged in their learning.  Great job students and teachers!

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Athena Middle and High Schools Receive SMART Response Grants

The Greece Education Foundation (GEF) awarded grants to both Athena Middle School and Athena High School for a set of 32 SMART Response Clickers!  The foundation paid over $1,500 per school.  The SMART Response system gives teachers the ability to instantly track quiz results and lesson comprehension to gain immediate insight into student learning and help increase overall retention and engagement.  These clickers are already in the hands of many students and teachers at Athena.  Academic engagement and achievement will be maximized as a result of this amazing foundation.

The Greece Education Foundation was formed in June 2000 to enrich and enhance educational opportunities for Greece Central School District students and staff in a manner that supports learning.  The GEF receives gifts, bequests, and donations from local businesses and community members and subsequently provides grant funding to enhance educational programs that cannot be readily financed through local tax dollars or other public resources reflected in the annual school budget.  These are beneficial projects that might not be initiated, improved, or maintained without outside funding.

Thank you Greece Education Foundation!

Maximizing Student Engagement with SMART Response Clickers

Teachers at Athena Middle and High School are using SMART response clickers!  Mr. Titus, Mrs. Schrieber, Miss Northrup (University of Rochester student teacher), and Mrs. Derleth have been utilizing this interactive technology in their classrooms.  The SMART Response system gives teachers the ability to instantly track quiz results and lesson comprehension to gain immediate insight into student learning and help increase overall retention and engagement.

Some activities that they have implemented in just a few weeks include the following:

  1. Warm-ups/Ticket out the Door:  All students will have a clicker in their hand and be expected to answer questions on a warm-up and/or ticket out the door.  These questions could be multiple choice, short response, true/false, etc.  As each student answers the question, the teacher will receive immediate feedback on topic areas of strength and opportunities for improvement based on their answers.  The teacher can use this information to modify and adjust his or her instruction based on the demonstrated student knowledge.
  2. Instant Questions: During a lesson, a teacher may want to assess if all students understand the content being taught.  Often times a teacher will ask, “Does anyone have any questions?” and no one raises their hands.  It is unlikely that all students understand what was being taught, but did not raise their hands or demonstrate knowledge of the topic.  With SMART response, a teacher can have the students answer an instant and spontaneous question to gage whether all students can answer the question.  If students need additional instruction or time on task, the teacher will instantly have the data to make that decision.
  3. Common Formative Assessments (CFAs):  The CFA process has been embraced by many in the Greece Central School District.  The CFA process means that teachers from the same grade or course ask the same questions to a similar group of students to collect data.  This data is analyzed and discussed by this common group of teachers to improve their instruction.  This collaboration will likely increase student and teacher learning.  One of the struggles for teachers in this process is that compiling data into a meaningful form can be difficult and time consuming.  The SMART response technology organized this data in seconds and can display it in graphs and charts.

Great job Athena!  Students are more engaged and instruction is continuing to improve.  You rock!

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